`Argentina Declares Olive Oil a ‘National Food’ - Olive Oil Times

Argentina Declares Olive Oil a ‘National Food’

By Charlie Higgins
Dec. 1, 2012 15:18 UTC

Bringing to fruition an ini­tia­tive that began in La Rioja province last month, Argentina’s National Chamber of Deputies has approved a bill to make olive oil a national food.’ The ini­tia­tive aims to pro­mote the pro­duc­tion, mar­ket­ing and domes­tic con­sump­tion of olive oil prod­ucts through the cre­ation of the Federal Program for the Promotion of Argentine Olive Oil, accord­ing to ANDigital.

”[The ini­tia­tive] aims to strengthen the regional economies of our coun­try. One goal is to diver­sify mar­ket­ing of a prod­uct with such high social and com­mer­cial appre­ci­a­tion and to thereby expand con­sump­tion in the local mar­ket,” said Javier Tineo, the La Rioja deputy who authored the bill.

We believe that our pub­lic poli­cies should pro­mote both pri­mary pro­duc­tion, with olives that are fully har­vested on Argentine soil, and indus­tri­al­iza­tion in the coun­try,” Tineo added.

The new Federal Program aims to increase domes­tic con­sump­tion, which is cur­rently just 125 grams (4.4 ounces) per capita annu­ally, accord­ing to El Sol.

Nonetheless, Argentina is the largest pro­ducer of olives in the Americas, with a har­vest of 200,000 tonnes reported in 2011. The coun­try places fourth on the list of the world’s top pro­duc­ers, just behind the European Union, Turkey and Egypt, and con­tributes 6.4 per­cent of the total global pro­duc­tion.

Following the bill’s approval, Tineo appeared before mem­bers of the local com­mu­nity in Aimogasta in the La Rioja county of Arauco.

Javier Tineo

We are very pleased. We did this with La Rioja in mind, its pro­duc­ers and the need to incor­po­rate a prod­uct a prod­uct of the high­est social appre­ci­a­tion in the basic food bas­ket of Argentines,” Tineo said.

In our coun­try, out of every four liters of oil, Argentines con­sume just one. The rest is sold abroad. In con­trast, other coun­tries must import oil because they con­sume more than they pro­duce. We are the largest pro­ducer of olives in Latin America and the last in the con­sump­tion scale,” he added.


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